Defense Department official Randall Schriver told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday that the war in Afghanistan will cost $45 billion in 2018, The Hill reported. That includes $13 billion to finance American troops, $5 billion for Afghan forces, three-quarters of a billion dollars for economic aid, and the rest for “logistical support.”
President Trump announced six months ago he would double down on the war, increasing the number of American troops in the country by nearly 6,000—for a total of 14,000—in order “to finish what we have to finish.”
Accompanying Schriver at the hearing was Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, who told the foreign relations committee that the administration’s policy “acknowledges that there isn’t a military solution or a complete solution.” And, despite the fact that the reason Trump publicly cited for increasing the number American troops is to assist Afghan combatants and officials in fighting members of the Taliban, neither Schriver nor Sullivan could provide the committee with even a general figure of how many Taliban militants are in the country.
“I’m not sure I could give you a number that I have great confidence in,” Schriver reportedly said.